Commercial HVAC systems are quite like residential systems, except that they tend to be much larger and more complex. This also means that they are much more expensive and require far more maintenance to ensure they continue working properly. Of course, there will still eventually come a time when a commercial air conditioner or furnace will start to fail and need to be replaced. The only question is when this will happen. Here is a full overview of the life expectancy of commercial HVAC units and what factors can affect how long the units last.
Average Lifespan for Different Types of Commercial HVAC Equipment
Commercial heating equipment, such as furnaces or boilers, usually has the longest lifespan of any type of HVAC equipment lasting anywhere from 15 to 25 years. On the other hand, air conditioners typically have a maximum lifespan of around 10 to 15 years. The only exception is ductless mini-split air conditioners, which may be able to last for anywhere from 20 to 30 years. However, this type of system is only suited for smaller buildings with only a few rooms.
Commercial heat pumps generally have the shortest lifespan of any HVAC equipment and can last up to 12 years. This is because these units provide both heating and cooling and thus experience far greater annual use than a standalone furnace or air conditioner.
It is important to note that these numbers are simply rough estimates. Every commercial HVAC system is different, and all the following factors can play a hugely important role in determining how long your HVAC units last.
Factors That Can Affect How Long a Commercial HVAC Unit Lasts
There are several different factors that can impact how long a commercial HVAC unit will last. It probably won’t come as much of a surprise to learn that one of the biggest factors is usage. In simple terms, the more hours that the unit runs each year, the shorter its lifespan is likely to be. A secondary factor that ties directly into this is how well the system was designed. The fact that commercial HVAC systems can be so complex makes it imperative that the system is designed to maximize its efficiency and effectiveness. This makes it essential that you choose a reputable, knowledgeable contractor for your commercial HVAC design as this could mean the difference between your heating or cooling unit lasting five years or 15 years. This is especially important for new construction projects since the entire system will need to be built from the ground up.
Another important factor is the local climate. As you might expect, heating equipment tends to last for quite a bit longer in warmer southern climates like Texas than it does in colder northern states, where it will see much more use. The opposite is also true when it comes to air conditioning systems, which will typically have a much shorter lifespan due to the higher heat and humidity. Proximity to the coast is another factor that can dramatically impact the lifespan of any outdoor HVAC unit. This is because all the salt in coastal air can quickly corrode outdoor units and lead to a drastically shorter lifespan.
As with any other type of equipment, quality is another major factor that will determine how long you can expect a commercial HVAC unit to last. This makes it important that you always choose high-quality equipment from a reputable manufacturer. While you might be able to save some money upfront by skimping on a cheaper, lower-quality unit, it may end up costing you far more in the long run since the cheaper unit likely won’t last for nearly as long.
How to Protect and Extend the Lifespan of Your Commercial HVAC System
All the above factors are undoubtedly important. Still, likely the single biggest factor in determining how long your heating or cooling equipment will last is how well it is maintained. Regular maintenance is essential for the continuing health of any HVAC system, but especially so for commercial systems due to their greater size and complexity. If you neglect this routine maintenance, there is a decent chance that your unit might not even reach the lower ranges of the lifespan estimates.
One problem is that many larger companies sometimes think that their in-house maintenance person can take care of their HVAC system. However, this only works if your maintenance person is trained and NATE certified. Otherwise, there is simply no way that they will have all the knowledge and skills required to keep your heating and cooling systems working properly.
Commercial HVAC maintenance and repairs are incredibly complicated, and it takes years of training to be able to work on these complex systems properly. Maintenance is about much more than simply making sure the system keeps the building at the desired temperature. It requires a highly trained person to fully inspect every single aspect of the system to ensure that there are no issues that need to be repaired.
The process also involves giving the entire system a tune-up to make sure that it is functioning at its peak efficiency level. Although all HVAC equipment will eventually suffer a decrease in energy efficiency and effectiveness as it ages, keeping it well maintained is the best way to reduce this problem and hopefully extend the lifespan of the unit. Studies have shown that HVAC systems that are professionally maintained at least once or twice a year typically have around a 33% longer lifespan than units that only receive occasional maintenance or aren’t maintained at all.
Having your HVAC system professionally maintained is also the easiest way to know when it is time to start thinking about replacing your heating or cooling unit. No company wants their heating or cooling system to suddenly give out in the middle of winter or summer when it is needed most, and the best way to prevent this is through regular maintenance and inspections.
Expert Commercial HVAC Services From a Trusted Local Contractor
At Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating, we have been providing a range of commercial HVAC services to companies throughout the San Antonio, Austin, and Corpus Christi areas for more than 30 years, and we can handle every single aspect of your heating and cooling system from design and installation to maintenance and repairs. Our company and our HVAC technicians are committed to providing the highest quality workmanship and excellent customer service.
We can handle jobs of any size, from small offices and rental complexes to malls, grocery stores, office complexes, and manufacturing facilities. Our highly trained technicians can work on all makes, models, and types of commercial heating and cooling equipment, and we also carry a wide selection of new HVAC equipment from top manufacturers like Daikin and Lennox. No matter what your HVAC needs are, give the friendly, knowledgeable team at Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating a call today to see what makes us the top commercial HVAC contractor in the area.